Twenty years ago, in January of 1996, an eastern-music-influenced, post-Brit-pop psych-rock band called Kula Shaker began to release singles from their debut record K. The singles were massive commercial successes, and the record went multi-platinum, offering fans the promise of a new British rock band with all the talent and the ear for radio-friendly melody of Oasis — and, as a contrastable bonus, a lead singer who wasn’t an ornery, conceited ass.
The band would have follow-up success with a movie soundtrack cover of “Hush” (best known as a Deep Purple song), and a new single for a delayed sophomore record. And then, for a series of sundry reasons, the band announced their split, and faded into relative obscurity.
Since reforming some ten years ago, though, Kula Shaker have released another three studio albums, including this past February’s K 2.0 — a tour for which, finally, brought lead singer Crispian Mills and co. back to a Philadelphia venue for the first time since their heyday. You could’ve done much worse last night than to have spent a Tuesday evening at World Cafe Live with the band, among a surprisingly small but enthusiastic crowd bathed in the deep, bright hues of stage lights, and the screenings and sounds of maximalist mod psychedelia.